Albon notes fixes to Williams’ past issues but finds new quirks

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Alex Albon says that Williams’ new FW46 has shed many of the negative traits that characterized its previous car but notes that new issues have emerged during pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Williams’ 2023 contender displayed its optimal performance on low-downforce circuits such as Spa and Monza, but consistently struggled on tracks that demanded downforce across a wide range of corners.

Williams has aimed to address this issue with its new car, seeking improvement in this particular aspect.

Despite limited laps on his first day of running onboard the new car due to technical issues, Albon reported a positive overall feeling, and suggested that Williams had succeeded in ironing out most of last year’s creases.

However, Albon didn't shy away from acknowledging the emergence of new issues. Specific corners at the Bahrain track seem to expose these problems, prompting the need for further adjustments.

"We haven't done so many laps but, generally, the feeling is good,” he said on Thursday, while teammate Logan Sargeant continued the team’s work programmes.

“We had a big task last year trying to focus on this year's car, trying to get rid of some of the issues that we've been having consistently throughout last year.


“We seem to have a couple of corners at this track, actually, that really highlight the problems.

“It's nice to know that we have fixed a lot of the problem areas from last year. But there are some new things that we have to iron out. So, part of the learning curve. But it's going well so far.”

The man handling quirk as alluded to by Albon appears to evolve around an issue of wayward balance of the FW46, especially apparent at Bahrain’s Turn 9 and 10 sequence.

The section, known for its tight layout, downhill descent, and off-camber design, acts as a litmus test for chassis weaknesses, and Williams' car seems to be struggling.

When asked about his team’s prospects in the opening rounds of the season, Albon expressed tempered optimism. He acknowledged that instead of hitting the ground "running," they might be starting with a "jog," implying a cautious outlook at the outset.

“What's clear is it's going to take a while to get there,” he said. “I do think that everything driving-wise, set-up-wise, it's a totally different car to understand.

“I don't think we're going to hit the ground running, but we can hit the ground jogging and have a good few races hopefully and get onto the points areas relatively soon.”

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